Essay about The Liturgy of Humiliation

Words: 1369
Pages: 6

The 18th century was an incredibly different time, full of corruption and brutality. New France is a great example of just how brutal this time period was and Peter Moogk’s “The Liturgy of
Humiliation, Pain and Death: The Execution of Criminals in New France,” is an article that puts the justice system of New France under a proverbial microscope, analyzing execution and humiliation techniques used by the government and the Church. It tries to emphasize the influence that religion and the crown had on criminalization techniques used in New France and just how much control they obtained through the fear produced by public executions. Moogk
Takes an active, vivid approach to writing that not only leaves the reader slightly
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The practice of public executions was not only designed to promote the power of the crown, but also to encourage the ideals of religion. People were taught by the priests of the Catholic
Church to abstain from sin and anything that might lead one to sin. The act of committing a crime is a perfect example of one going against the teachings of god, openly defying his word and law. The following punishment would befit the severity of the crime and would also be drenched in religious influence. The process of a guilty cadaver being dragged through the streets face down not only hid his face from the people, but also hid his guilty face from god. A man who is condemned in such a way does not deserve to gaze up at god. He instead must hide his face in shame for what he’s done. These public executions instilled an extreme sense of fear into the hearts of anyone who observed them. This fear was not only used by the crown to gain substantial power over its subjects, but also by the church to solidify the ideas of god and the need to avoid the temptations of sin at all costs. This article has made me wonder just how much influence the crown actually had on the construction of the law system if all of the laws are based around the idea of sin. Although the crown gained substantial power through the catalyst of fear, the church was the underlying force from which that fear was built.